WATSEKA, Ill. (WCIA) — People are paying tribute to a fall soldier and hometown hero.
Watseka native Sgt. Jeremy Cain Sherman died last week in a helicopter crash in Egypt. The City encouraged businesses and homes to put American flags out Wednesday to honor Sgt. Sherman’s memory.
He was one of five American soldiers killed during a peacekeeping mission in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula last Thursday. A French and Czech peacekeeper also died.
Sherman left behind a new bride. His mother described him as someone who always looked out for others and was always willing to help a fellow soldier.
The loved ones of the five soldiers, along with Vice President Mike Pence, attended the dignified transfer of the five solders Monday at Dover Air Force Base. Sherman’s family returned from the dignified transfer Tuesday, and said they were deeply touched and surprised when they saw the American flags lining their way home.
“That many people that you don’t know have reached out,” father Scott Childress said. “They don’t even know him and when they talk with you their eyes are watery and you can see the sincerity in them.”
Childress said his son was fearless.
“Jeremy loved what he did and he wasn’t scared,” he said. “All he talked about was that helicopter.”
Sherman’s sister, Shea, said it’s not just that fearlessness that stood out, but also his selflessness.
“If any of his friends was going through something, he would try and help them with what he could,” she said.
Shea shared a picture of her brother and their friend at his high school’s homecoming dance in 2013.
“They don’t have hair,” Shea explained. “She was going through chemo and she lost her hair and Jeremy shaved his head also for her.”
“The impact that he’s had on people – didn’t think it would be that much but he has,” his father said. “And the things that we heard about our son from other people – that’s him, you know, that’s him.”
Ultimately, his family couldn’t be anything but proud.
“He had to live life to the fullest and he did,” Childress said. “In his 23 years, he did.”
Sherman’s funeral arrangements are still in the works.